Eastern Mennonite University

Barbara (Babs) Fickes started music lessons at the age of 6 on a parlor pump reed organ. At the age of ten she was playing for Chapel for her family and neighbors. She was involved in all available choral groups, the best of which was a twelve-member high school a cappella chorus which was recorded many times. While living in Germany she played the chapel organ for three different protestant services while studying with Frietz Weiner. Returning to Virginia, she studied organ with the late J. Tucker Cook at Washington & Lee University and sang with several choral groups. In 1968 she joined the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society, which, at the time, was led by conductor Kenneth Nafziger. She also served as treasurer of the organization’s board of directors. While living in Waynesboro, she served as director of music at three churches. After moving to Charlottesville, she became an assistant organist for the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists and a co-director of music at HUMC for twelve years. Currently, Babs is the organist at St. Lukes Episcopal Chapel and assistant choir director at Grace Church, Keswick. Having often sung with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Chorus, she has now joined the festival’s board.